National Work Zone Awareness Week 2021

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Photo: National Work Zone Awareness Week

Washington — National Work Zone Awareness Week is set for April 26-30, with a national kickoff event – hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation – planned for 11 a.m. Eastern on April 27.

The theme for this year’s event is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.” It serves as a reminder that work zones “need everyone’s undivided attention,” safety begins with workers who are dedicated to safety, and all stakeholders can work together to “achieve zero deaths” on the roads and in work zones.

April 28 will be “Go Orange Day” to remember those who’ve lost their lives in work zones. To show support for their families and friends, organizers encourage everyone to wear orange. Michigan OSHA implores employers to use the week “as an opportunity to speak with their employees in all industry sectors about the hazards in the roadway.”

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 842 people were killed in work zones in 2019 – up from 757 the previous year. Worker fatalities in construction zones also increased to 135 in 2019 from 124 in 2018.

NWZAW is an annual event. Since 1999, FHWA has partnered with the American Traffic Safety Services Association and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to promote work zone safety, adding other transportation partners through the years.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Fatal Injury Trends in the Construction Industry

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation Flickr

Silver Spring, MD — The number of construction workers killed on the job reached its highest level in at least nine years in 2019, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Training and Research.

Using 2011-2019 data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, researchers identified 1,102 construction worker fatalities in 2019 – a 41.1% increase from the initial year of the study period.

The increase in fatal injuries was especially pronounced among Hispanic workers, soaring 89.8% over the course of the nine-year period and far outpacing the group’s 55% rise in employment over that time.

Workers in the 45-64 age group accounted for the most fatalities (241) between 2016 and 2019. However, the 65-and-older age group had the highest rate of fatal injuries over those four years, at 22.0 per 100,000 full-time employees – more than double that of the 45-64 age group’s rate of 9.6.

Falls and struck-by, caught-in/between and electrocution hazards – known as the Construction Focus Four as part of an OSHA safety initiative – resulted in 709 deaths in 2019, or 64.3% of all fatalities in the industry that year. Fatal falls to a lower level rose to 401 in 2019 and accounted for 36.4% of all fatalities that year – a 25% jump from the previous year.

Struck-by fatalities were up 7.6% during the study period, including a 21.2% increase in struck-by fatalities involving a transport vehicle. Meanwhile, around 7 out of 10 caught-in/between fatalities involved workers being crushed in collapsing materials.

The numbers of fatal falls from roofs, ladders and scaffolds all rose during the study period. In 2019, fatal falls from roofs totaled 146 – a 28.1% increase over the previous year. CPWR advises employers to proactively address fall hazards and provide workers with sufficient protection, such as personal fall arrest systems.

The report was published in the February edition of CPWR’s Data Bulletin.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

MSHA Offering $1M in Safety Grants

First published by MSHA.

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced today the availability of up to $1 million to fund grants to support education and training to help mine workers identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions.

The funding, made available by the department’s Brookwood-Sago grant program, will enable grant recipients to develop training materials, provide mine safety training or educational programs, recruit mine operators and miners for training, and conduct and evaluate training. The amount of each individual grant will be at least $50,000, and the maximum individual award will be up to $1 million.

Administered by MSHA, the 2021 selection process will include special consideration for programs that focus on powered haulage (in particular, reducing vehicle-on-vehicle collisions, increasing seat belt use and improving belt conveyor safety), improving safety among contractors, reducing electrocutions, improving training for new and inexperienced miners, mine emergency prevention and preparedness, falls from equipment, respiratory hazards and other programs to prevent unsafe conditions in mines.

MSHA will also place special emphasis on programs and materials that target miners at smaller mines, including training miners and employers about new MSHA standards, high-risk activities or hazards MSHA identifies.

Visit to apply for the Brookwood-Sago grants. Applications must be received by May 27, 2021. MSHA will award grants on or before Sept. 30, 2021.

The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 established the Brookwood-Sago grant program in honor of the 25 miners who died at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine in Brookwood, Alabama, in 2001 and at the Sago Mine in Buckhannon, West Virginia, in 2006.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Operation Safe Driver Week

First published by CVSA.

Greenbelt, Maryland (April 6, 2021) – This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week will take place July 11-17 with an emphasis on speeding. During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky driving behaviors in or around a commercial motor vehicle. Identified unsafe drivers will be pulled over and issued a citation or warning.

“Data shows that traffic stops and interactions with law enforcement help reduce problematic driving behaviors,” said Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “By making contact with drivers during Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement personnel aim to make our roadways safer by targeting high-risk driving behaviors.”

CVSA selected speeding as its focus this year because despite a drop in roadway travel last year due to the pandemic, nationally, traffic fatalities increased. According to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) preliminary estimates, the estimated rate of death on roads last year increased 24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven dropping 13%. The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-over-year jump NSC has calculated in 96 years.

In addition to speeding, law enforcement personnel will be tracking other dangerous driver behaviors throughout Operation Safe Driver Week, such as reckless or aggressive driving, distracted driving, following too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, failure to use a seat belt, evidence of drunk or drugged driving, etc.

CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Program was created to help to reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and with support from the motor carrier industry and transportation safety organizations. This initiative aims to improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either in or around commercial motor vehicles – through educational and traffic enforcement strategies.

To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement events in your area, contact the agency or department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety in your area.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

April Is Workplace Violence Awareness Month

First published by CDC.Workplace violence

Workplace violence is any type of violence or threat of violence against workers. It generally occurs in the workplace but can also happen away from it. Workplace violence can range from threats and verbal abuse to more serious events that lead to physical assaults, homicides, and mass casualty events, such as those that occurred recently at workplaces in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado. Because April is Workplace Violence Awareness month, we would like to share resources on what we know based on research and also where research gaps still exist.

Workplace violence can occur anywhere and at any time, but certain groups of workers are at increased risk. These groups include those who exchange money with the public; transport passengers, goods, or services; work alone or in small groups late at night or early in the morning; and come into close contact as they treat and provide patient care. Examples include retail workers, nurses, taxi drivers, and others who commonly interact with customers, clients, or patients. However, workplace violence doesn’t have to involve workers and customers or clients. Threats and assaults can also come from other employees, supervisors or managers, a domestic partner, or a current or former spouse.

The risk of workplace violence has not decreased during the pandemic—in fact, many incidents have occurred in the past year. The pandemic has intensified feelings of stress and created uncertainty about the future for many, including employers, workers, customers, and clients. Workers were threatened and assaulted as businesses implemented new disease prevention policies and practices. In response, CDC has developed guidance for employers and employees in retail and service industries to address workplace violence during this time of uncertainty. Over the last year, there were other violence incidents, including ones affecting healthcare workers, public health professionals, and other frontline workers who experienced stigma, threats, and assaults. Some CDC guidance may be applicable to these groups of workers as well.

NIOSH researchers have studied this complex issue since workplace violence was identified as a public health concern in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Employers and employees in large and small businesses, as well as healthcare settings, can use these resources and trainings to help reduce workplace violence. While we have learned a lot about workplace violence prevention over the years, knowledge gaps still exist. And with that, NIOSH continues to prioritize the need for additional research to improve violence prevention for workers through non-pandemic and pandemic-relatedpdf icon research.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

First published by ADOT.

PHOENIX – For National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, the Arizona Department of Transportation is doing its part to create a buzz around the dangers of texting and driving.

Building on its “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me” campaign, ADOT has produced a new public service announcement. This one features a beekeeper. This is the fifth 30-second PSA in a campaign that shows Arizonans doing something most people find terrifying.

The “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me” campaign began in the fall, featuring a Phoenix Zoo snake handler, a rodeo bullfighter, a high-rise window washer and a Salt River Project power line tech. What’s the one thing that terrifies these brave men and women? Distracted drivers, of course. The PSAs will continue to be broadcast on more than 100 TV and radio stations around the state, in partnership with the Arizona Broadcasters Association, and shared on ADOT’s social media channels.

Earlier this year, civil penalties for violations of Arizona’s hands-free law went into effect. It is illegal (link is external)for drivers to talk or text on a device not engaged in hands-free mode on all roadways in Arizona. The first violation may result in a fine between $75 and $149 and subsequent violations can be as much as $250, plus applicable surcharges.

Those fines really sting, but they’re a far better outcome than causing a preventable crash. In Arizona in 2019, the most recent with finalized crash data, at least 10,491 drivers involved in crashes were engaged in distracted driving behavior. However, traffic safety stakeholders believe this figure is actually much higher because distracted driving is underreported since drivers often don’t admit to being distracted or died in the crash.

For more information on ADOT’s “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me” awareness campaign, visit

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Hearing protection and the Hierarchy of Controls

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Responding is Matt Block, director of health and safety services, Magid Glove & Safety Mfg. Co. LLC, Romeoville, IL.

Obviously, the standard is familiar to all safety managers: OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls. It tells us that personal protective equipment is the least effective mitigation solution and the last thing we should employ to safeguard workers’ hearing.

Accordingly, we start with elimination. Is it possible to eliminate the hazard entirely? Is the equipment obsolete? Is there a better way to accomplish the task that doesn’t involve the current level of noise?

Next, we move to substitution. Is there a newer version of the equipment that produces a lower level of noise? This may be a more expensive alternative if you’re replacing entire pieces of equipment, but in some cases, it can be the most effective. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of equipment maintenance. Review your logs to see if replacing one or more parts might fix the issue.

Once you know what equipment you have to work with, you can move on to engineering controls. This can take several different forms. If it’s possible to identify a particular part of a machine that’s causing a great deal of vibration or noise, you can look into adding measures to dampen that portion. Sound absorption techniques such as sound baffles or insulators to absorb some of the noise in the area can be effective. It may even be possible to add shock absorbers or sound dampening materials to portions of the equipment to dampen the noise before it reaches the room.

You can also work to contain the noise. You might move loud equipment to a separate room, or even con-struct a room around the equipment itself if it’s very large or in the middle of your facility.

This can be a double-edged sword, however, because the rest of your facility is protected from the noise, but workers who have to use the equipment may be in closer proximity and in an enclosed space, thereby increasing their noise exposure.

If you’ve done all you can with the hazard itself, it’s time to turn to administrative and work practice controls. The most common administrative control is to change workers’ schedules so they have less time exposed to the noise level. You should factor noise levels into your worker rotations just as you do ergonomic issues.

Work practice controls include setting up your facility so people aren’t working in noisy areas. This might mean putting your loudest equipment in an isolated place. If that’s not possible, you will look at the next step in your process to see how you might be able to move that.

For example, if you have a loud machine doing cutting, followed by an assembly step, rethink where that assembly can be done. Can you move the cut materials and assemble them in a quieter area?

Once you’ve controlled as much noise as possible, it’s time to consider PPE. Quality products are important, but equally important is training and reminders. Be sure everyone knows how to wear their hearing protection properly and that they understand the consequences of cutting corners.

Above all, remember that every application and environment is unique. Tackling your noise problems in this order, while sometimes thinking outside the box, is the path to preserving your workers’ hearing and good health.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

CVSA’s 2021 Out-of-Service Criteria Now in Effect

First published by CVSA.

Greenbelt, Maryland (April 1, 2021) – Starting today, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2021 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria are now in effect. Commercial motor vehicle enforcement personnel use the criteria to identify commercial motor vehicle and driver violations that result in the vehicle or driver being placed out of service. The 2021 out-of-service criteria replace and supersede all previous versions.

The voting members of the Alliance approved four changes to the out-of-service criteria, which are now in effect. In accordance with the CVSA Bylaws, the proposed changes were communicated to the voting members of the Alliance on Oct. 15, 2020, and ratified on Oct. 30, 2020. The out-of-service criteria are updated annually, effective April 1 of each year.

The following changes were made to the out-of-service criteria:

  1. Footnote 10 in Part I, Item 9. DRIVER’S RECORD OF DUTY STATUS – U.S. – Footnotes for Driver’s Record of Duty Status – U.S. was amended. Also, footnotes 5 through 8 were removed and reserved. However, they were not completely deleted because other documents refer to these footnotes and renumbering them could cause confusion.
  2. Language was added to Part I, Item 10. DRIVER’S RECORD OF DUTY STATUS – CANADA, h. No Daily Log (See Footnote 2) and i. False Log (See Footnote 1) for record of duty status.
  3. Additional language for record of duty status and a footnote were added to Part I, Item 10. DRIVER’S RECORD OF DUTY STATUS – CANADA – Footnotes for Driver’s Record of Duty Status.
  4. Language was added to Part II, Item 9. LIGHTING DEVICES (HEADLAMPS, TAIL LAMPS, STOP LAMPS, TURN SIGNALS AND LAMPS/FLAGS ON PROJECTING LOADS) – b. At Any Time – Day or Night (1) on center high-mounted stop lamp(s).

The CVSA Training Committee, the Education Quality Assurance Team in Canada and the U.S. National Training Center’s Technical Review and Update Specialist Team will incorporate these changes, as appropriate, into North American Standard Inspection Program training materials, along with updated inspection bulletins, inspection procedures, operational policies and training videos.

There are several versions (print, electronic, other languages, etc.) of the 2021 out-of-service criteria available for purchase through the CVSA online store. The 2021 out-of-service criteria app is available for purchase by searching “CVSA Out-of-Service Criteria” in the App Store or Google Play.

The out-of-service criteria are different from federal, state and territorial regulations. Regulations are the minimum requirements (developed by federal, state, provincial or territorial regulatory authorities) for the operation of commercial motor vehicles in interstate/interprovincial commerce. CVSA’s North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria ensure uniformity, consistency and reciprocity among the states, provinces, territories and countries in determining whether or not drivers or vehicles present an imminent hazard and should be placed out of service. Together, the federal regulations and CVSA’s out-of-service criteria provide the standards drivers, motor carriers and law enforcement personnel use to ensure the commercial motor vehicles and drivers on North America’s roadways are safe and in compliance.

CVSA hosted a webinar outlining the changes to the 2021 out-of-service criteria. The webinar is available to CVSA members through the online CVSA member portal. Once logged in, click on the CVSA Learning tab, then click on “Roadside” to view all past webinars.

For questions about the criteria, contact CVSA Director of Roadside Inspection Program Kerri Wirachowsky via email or at 301-830-6153.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.